Synthetic RNA-based regulatory systems are used to program higher-level biological functions that could be exploited, among many applications, for in vivo diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Chen and colleagues have recently reported a significant technological advance by producing an RNA modular device based on a hammerhead ribozyme and successfully tested its ability to control the proliferation of mammalian T lymphocytes. Like all exciting research, this work raises a lot of significant questions. How quickly will such knowledge be translated into clinical practice? How efficient will this system be in human clinical trials involving adaptive T-cell therapy? We discuss the possible advantages of using such new technologies for specific therapeutic applications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Milena Nicoloso for critically reading this manuscript. GAC is supported as a Fellow at The University of Texas MD Anderson Research Trust, as a Fellow of The University of Texas System Regents Research Scholar and by the CLL Global Research Foundation. Work in GAC’s laboratory is supported in part by NIH, by DOD, by Developmental Research Awards in Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer and Leukemia SPOREs, and by a 2009 Seena Magowitz Pancreatic Cancer Action Network AACR Pilot Grant.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology